“I’m never not doing something,” Dominic Fike tells Variety from the passenger seat of a car.
While the 25-year-old artist would usually be writing songs or recording with cross-generational music royalty, these days he’s on set filming Season 2 of “Euphoria.”
“It feels like a long music video,” says Fike, who is known for his eccentric and stylized videos but had never considered himself an actor before landing a main role on the hit HBO show.
Fike describes his character as a “homie” who hangs out with Rue and Jules, played respectively by Zendaya and Hunter Schafer, who Fike calls “the nicest people ever.”
“They’re both really funny,” Fike says of his co-stars. “We were doing a scene the other day and had to keep redoing it because we just couldn’t stop laughing.”
Fike originally auditioned for the hit HBO series when casting director Jennifer Venditti asked him to come in and read a Mark Wahlberg scene from “Boogie Nights.” Despite initial self-doubt, Fike made it to the final round of auditions before his character was written out of the show. A year later, HBO reached out again, and Fike auditioned for a bigger role, a character he says reminds him of his younger self.
“I don’t have to do much acting,” Fike says. “He’s exactly like me. It’s shit I would say and shit I would do.”
However, while his character is somewhat of a “degenerate,” Fike is now sober.
“I’m in overdrive,” he says. “I feel like I can work forever and do anything.”
Fike credits his sobriety with putting him in a better headspace and providing a newfound joy in creating. He views acting as more than just a side gig, and since starting “Euphoria,” he’s already gone on several more auditions.
“It’s become a second career,” Fike says. “Now I don’t have to do TikTok, is how I look at it.”
Meanwhile, Fike’s music career is also in full force. The past year has seen collaborations with Halsey, slowthai and Remi Wolf. In March, the multi-hyphenate artist became the face of Sir Paul McCartney’s new album.
“I was just in my kitchen making a sandwich, and my manager was like, ‘Yo, I think Paul McCartney just hit us up,’” Fike recalls. “I was like, ‘Shut the fuck up dude,’ and went back to making the food.”
McCartney recruited Fike for “McCartney III Imagined,” a reinvention of his 2020 record featuring artists ranging from Anderson .Paak to Phoebe Bridgers. McCartney especially enjoyed Fike’s take on “The Kiss Of Venus” and made it the album’s lead single.
If Macca wasn’t enough, Fike also put out a song with Justin Bieber, who he calls a “harmony master.” When Bieber slid into Fike’s Instagram DMs asking him to sing a verse on his album “Justice,” the pair hopped into the studio and laid down vocals for the ‘80s synth-clad “Die For You.”
“Justin is like LeBron James,” Fike says. “He’s like a real serious athlete when it comes to music.”
Fike, who cynically sang in 2020, “I hope they cancel me / So I can go be with my family,” looks up to Bieber in terms of managing fame.
“I’m taking advice from other people that have been famous longer,” Fike says. “Like, if you have to drink alcohol and do drugs to stop thinking about things people are saying on the internet, you probably shouldn’t read the shit they’re saying on the internet.”
Fike is also working on a new album, which he says will feature more rapping and be less “overproduced” than his 2020 record “What Could Possibly Go Wrong?”
“I felt like I had too many producers in the room and too many people telling me what was right and what was wrong,” he says. “Now it’s just my mind, similar to how I made ‘Don’t Forget About Me, Demos.’ There were no other people in the room to tell me anything, and I’m not sending this music to other people to give me fucking opinions on it.”
Noodling around on his new guitar — a 1930s hollow-body Gibson L-50 — Fike says he is no longer concerned about how his music will be perceived, only what sounds good to him.
“I’m thinking about what makes the hairs on my arm stand up,” he explains. “Simply put, I just try to enjoy it.”
Despite his complicated relationship with stardom, Fike hopes to have a long and fruitful career. Though with a new album and “Euphoria” Season 2 on the horizon, he’s too busy to plan ahead.
“I’m just in go-mode right now,” Fike says. “It’s kind of like I’m walking and people are putting tiles under my feet as I take each step.”
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